John Thompson wonders if I overstate my concern about the current direction of the education reform movement.
He is not convinced that the end game is privatization.
Perhaps I sat through too many closed-door meetings of conservative think tanks to think otherwise.
As I read and listen to the leading lights of the movement (Jeb Bush; Tony Bennett; ALEC; DFER; Stand for Children; Michelle Rhee), I hear no liking for the public schools. I hear promises of the golden age to come when public schools have been replaced by charters and vouchers and virtual schools, when teachers have no unions or tenure or job protections whatever, when teachers need no more than a few weeks of training to be considered “highly qualified,” when schools are regularly closed if their test scores don’t improve, and teachers fired if their students’ scores don’t improve.
I see the P-word at work (privatization); I see the education profession turned into jobs for temps and short-timers.
I think it is time to stop practices that we know are harmful to children and to their education, like high-stakes testing.
Maybe I am wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time.
I try to follow the evidence.
John, where do you think this is heading?